CVR Energy, a petroleum refinery company based in Coffeyville, Kansas, has reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over allegations of excessive sulfur dioxide emissions. In a consent decree, CVR’s subsidiary, Coffeyville Resources Refining and Marketing (CRRM), will pay over $23 million to address the environmental violations.
As part of the settlement, CRRM will invest $9 million in a flare gas recovery system that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12,888 tons annually. This reduction is equivalent to saving 1.3 million gallons of gasoline each year. Additionally, the new system will help lower sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, contributing to improved air quality.
Sulfur dioxide, emitted in excess by the refinery, can have adverse effects on human health, including breathing difficulties and the potential to cause acid rain. It can also harm trees and plants. Nitrogen oxide, another pollutant emitted by the refinery, is a major contributor to the formation of smog.
By implementing these measures and investing in environment-friendly projects approved by the state of Kansas, CRRM aims to mitigate the negative impact of its operations on the environment and public health. This settlement follows a previous consent decree in 2012, where CRRM paid a penalty of nearly $1 million for environmental violations.
The U.S. Justice Department and EPA had been investigating CRRM since 2016 for additional Clean Air Act violations, leading to this recent settlement.
1. What are the environmental violations CVR Energy has been accused of?
CVR Energy was accused of emitting excess sulfur dioxide from its petroleum refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, which can harm human health, cause acid rain, and damage trees and plants. Additionally, the company was found to be in violation of the Clean Air Act.
2. How will the settlement impact greenhouse gas emissions?
As part of the settlement, CVR Energy’s subsidiary, Coffeyville Resources Refining and Marketing, will invest $9 million in a flare gas recovery system that is projected to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 12,888 tons. This reduction is equivalent to using 1.3 million fewer gallons of gasoline every year.
3. What are the consequences of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions?
Sulfur dioxide can make breathing difficult, cause acid rain, and harm trees and plants. Nitrogen oxide is a major contributor to smog formation, which can have negative impacts on human health and the environment.
4. How has CVR Energy addressed previous environmental violations?
In 2012, CVR Energy’s subsidiary, Coffeyville Resources Refining and Marketing, paid a penalty of nearly $1 million as part of a consent decree for environmental violations. The recent settlement addresses additional violations that have been under investigation since 2016.